Big Disobedience, 2016
Erwin Wurm (b. 1954 Bruck an der Mur/Stryria, Austria) engages with the established history of sculpture, yet pushes the boundaries of the medium to new and exciting possibilities that incorporate participatory, temporal and psychological elements. Wurm often uses absurd and comic elements of contemporary society – particularly in relation to the human body – in his sculpture, and he has repeatedly re-drawn and extended the boundary defining a visible form from inside and outside, fundamentally challenging and questioning the viewer’s perception of reality.
Big Disobedience is a larger-than-life version of Wurm’s Disobedience, 2014, through which the artist utilizes clothing in place of the body as the sculptural element to define the human form. The title of the work is inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s 1849 essay Civil Disobedience. Wurm’s reference to the essay is tied to ideas about obedience and disobedience with regard to political and social correctness, a theme explored throughout his work.